Scott: Farmers bracing themselves in anticipation of payment delays


Scottish Liberal Democrat agriculture spokesman Tavish Scott MSP has today criticised the Scottish Government for its handling of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) payments issue.

Since June 2014 the Scottish Government has spent £178m putting the new support scheme for farmers in place with payments due to run from December to June.

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Tavish says First Ministers promise to press Loganair is helpful

Orkney MSP Liam McArthur today got Nicola Sturgeon’s agreement to personally press  Loganair over their performance. At First Ministers Questions in Holyrood, he asked the FM to speak with the airlines chief executive over the recent safety incidents and the performance of the company. Yesterday a Sumburgh bound plane was diverted to Aberdeen when an engine was shut down in flight. The plane landed safely but passengers and constituents have been contacting Liam and Tavish with concerns over the service.

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Tavish congratulates COPE


Tavish was delighted to see COPE win Social Enterprise of the year. They do incredibly valuable work in Shetland and it was great to see their efforts recognised.


Food fair shows Shetlands excellence

The quality of Shetland's produce means local food and drink is an export opportunity for the islands says local MSP Tavish Scott. He was at Clickimin this weekend to enjoy the Shetland Food Fair. Local companies, chefs and food displays made a great weekend for all involved. Tavish Scott believes that Shetland needs to exploit the islands natural advantages by finding new markets for the local food and drink industry.


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Tavish asks why Scottish Government is discriminating against Shetlanders


Cuts to ferry fares of more than 50% are helping 14 ferry services to Scotland's west coast islands today. The Scottish Government's overt and political discrimination against the people of Shetland and Orkney is laid bare by todays announcement.

Ferry services to Barra, Mull, Eigg, Skye, Raasay, Cumbrae, Muck and Rum benefit from a cut to single passenger fares of an average of 44%, while car fares will be cut by an average of 55%. The Northern Isles have had increases imposed on both passengers and cars in every year of the 8 years of nationalist government.

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Tavish asks First Minister to act over Sullom Voe redundancies

Shetland MSP, Tavish Scott, asked First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, during this weeks First Minister's Questions to respond to the announcement that Wood Group and Bilfinger Industrial Services were proposing to make 260 workers at Sullom Voe reduntant.

 Tavish Scott asked the First Minister: ''Will she ask Highlands and Islands Enterprise to conduct a full assessment of the impact on the local economy and on local businesses? Will she also agree to meet the office of the oil and gas regulator, the Oil and Gas Authority, which is pressing the case for the Schiehallion oil field to use Sullom Voe oil terminal rather than Rotterdam as is currently intended?''

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, responded: ''I am very happy to discuss with Highlands and Islands Enterprise the specific request that Tavish Scott has made of that body. That is a constructive suggestion.

''John Swinney met the oil and gas regulator recently. If memory serves me correctly, I am due to meet the regulator soon and would be happy to discuss that issue.

''Obviously, we are concerned to learn of the developments at Sullom Voe. It is important to say that this will be an anxious time for the workforce and their families. The Government, as we always do in these situations, stands ready to provide support for affected employees through our partnership action for continuing employment initiative for responding to redundancy situations. 
More widely than that, we are fully committed, through our oil and gas jobs task force, to supporting the industry during challenging times.

''I am sure that John Swinney or Fergus Ewing 
would be happy to meet Tavish Scott to discuss 
those issues in more detail.''


Islands debate in Holyrood - action rather than more words

After 8 years of an SNP Government Shetland needs positive action rather than endless rhetoric says Shetland MSP Tavish Scott. He and Orkney MSP Liam McArthur will speak in today's Parliamentary debate. They will urge fellow MSP's to back their amendment calling for an end to nationalist centralisation and a return of powers and local decision making to Lerwick and Kirkwall rather than Edinburgh.

The debate comes after yesterday's health survey results published by Tavish Scott. 900 people and families want better health care and Tavish Scott will highlight the Scottish Government's underfunding of local health services today. He will also ask Parliament to support the transfer for the seabed to Shetland as recommended by the cross-party Smith Ccommission This would give real economic powers to Shetland to support the marine industries on which the island economy depends.

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Win on the Air Discount Scheme

Commenting on the Scottish Government's decision to increase the rate of Air Discount Scheme Shetland MSP Tavish Scott who has been campaigning for this, said,

"Air fares are a huge factor for islanders travelling to the Scottish mainland. The increase in ADS is good. It is what Islanders have been pressing for. I hope the Scottish Government will now reverse their earlier decision to cut back on the eligibility for the scheme. This has not helped working people across Shetland. So I will continue to make the case for the full ADS to be implemented by this government. That would be the progress we need."


Health Survey Responses

Islanders have responded to Tavish Scott’s health survey by asking for better healthcare. 900 families and individual’s have shared their direct experience of the NHS. Mental health, GP services, dentists and travelling south for care all featured in the survey sent to every household across Shetland. The survey showed that 75% of islanders have to wait more than a month to see a dentist, 73% of islanders want better mental health services and GP services carry 90% of the NHS workload with only 11% of the NHS budget. NHS Shetland faces a £400,000 deficit and is underfunded by £900,000 a year under the Scottish Government’s own funding formula.

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Tavish slams SNP Government's hypocrisy on Shetland devolution

In light of the announcement by the SNP Government on devolving further powers to the three island authorities. Shetland MSP, Tavish Scott, noted how this announcement contrasts with the Scottish Government's record of stripping powers from Shetland over the last eight years. 

Tavish further commented: 

''The SNP have been in power for eight years. They have removed powers, responsibilities and money from the islands. Only now, six months before an election, do they decide to ask people what they want.

''Why is there no guarantee over the seabed being placed under island control? Why does the SNP not accept that creating a state police force has not helped community policing? Why are Shetland's health services underfunded by £900,000 every year by the SNP's own funding formula?

''The Scottish Government could answer these questions. But instead of explaining the GP crisis, the imposition of school league tables on Shetland education and exclusion of Shetland from the government's cheaper ferry fares scheme we are presented with a draft SNP manifesto for next year's elections.''



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